Archive for the ‘Tips & Techniques’ Category
This week’s post comes from Jackie; a knitter, weaver, new crocheter and one of our fabulous Customer Service Representatives.
When I’m using a knitting yarn that comes in balls or one I wound into a ball for warping my rigid heddle loom, I put the yarn in a shoe box and thread it through a hole poked in the box. This lets me warp the loom without the yarn rolling around on the floor. It also has the added bonus of keeping my “helpful” pets away from it.
Knitting yarns can be wonderful to use in weaving. I like using hand dyed yarns especially or yarns with long color repeats because they look really interesting in weaving. My favorites include: Classic Elite Liberty Wool Print, Tosh Vintage, Sweet Georgia Trinity Worsted, and Malabrigo Rios made some awesome scarves last year!
The Magic Loop method is a great way to knit socks, but it can be tricky to pick up stitches for the heel flap. It’s often hard to get enough slack to make it comfortable to pick up stitches without undoing the magic loop. Try using an interchangeable needle tip to pick up stitches instead. In the image on the left, the stitches are being picked up with the interchangeable tip. On the right, you can slide the stitches off the interchangeable tip by placing the tip of your working needle up against the back of the interchangeable tip. This is an easy way to slide the stitches off one needle and onto the other.
Instead of using a cable needle when knitting cables, Kerry likes to use an interchangeable needle tip. It’s best to use a tip one size smaller than the needles you’re using for the rest of the project. Once you’ve knit your cable, you can stick the needle into the tail of the interchangeable tip to put the stitches back on your needle.
When I do any project with a chart, I like to put the pattern in a plastic page protector and then mark my place in the chart with a dry erase marker. If I make a mistake and need to frog a couple rows, it’s a lot easier to update my place than if I had written on the pattern itself; and pencil marks can get confusing if my eraser doesn’t work well enough. As long as I’m careful about not putting anything on top of the page protector, the dry erase marks are still there weeks later when I pick up the project again after indiscriminately abandoning it!
Adding a new ball of yarn to your knitting is easy! If you’re adding a new color or just switching to a different skein, you can use this technique. It’s not hard, but those first few stitches can be a little fiddly.
When joining in the round, it’s very easy to get a little gap in between the first and last stitches. You can stitch this up when you weave in your ends, or you can try this technique!
Slip your first and last stitches onto a spare needle, then twist that needle around. Now, the first stitch will be on the left, and the last stitch on the right. Slip the left stitch onto the left needle, and the right stitch onto the right needle. This twist actually crosses that first and last stitch to close your gap. Now you can start knitting without having to worry about the gap again!
If you’ve ever run into a big knot in your yarn while working on a project, this is a great way to join in your new strand of yarn. The Magic Knot joins two strands of yarn together with virtually no visible ends. It could even be used to join a new skein and avoid weaving in ends!
This technique is best used with a dense stitch pattern like garter stitch or seed stitch. A more open stitch or lace won’t hide the knot. It is also best used with a sturdy plied yarn. Single plies and delicate fibers aren’t strong enough to hold up to the strength test and will fall apart.
Now, I wrap a rubber band or a hair tie around the hook. It adds a little extra stickiness that keeps it in place. No more crawling around on the floor or digging in your couch cushions searching for your hook!
I love to knit and crochet projects in the round; it makes it so much easier to mindlessly work along during a movie or in the car. And you can’t beat colorwork in the round. The only hurdle is the long cast-ons with some projects, and having to join those in the round without twisting.We’ve all seen the pattern instructions that say, ” CO 247. Join in the round, being careful not to twist.” Almost nothing is worse than casting-on all those stitches, then starting to knit, only to realize your project is twisted.
It’s tricky not to twist these many stitches in the round, but here’s a handy trick. Lay your cast-on out flat, and join clothes pins to the back sides. Smooth your cast-on flat and add another clothes pin. This gives you much smaller section to work with so you can be sure you’re not twisting your project!